Vince Gill to Perform Benefit Concert in May
A country music superstar will perform in Pinehurst on Memorial Day weekend to benefit the local chapter of The First Tee.
Vince Gill, a country music hall of famer and two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, and his band will perform at the Pinehurst Village Arboretum on May 29. Gill has waived his appearance fee for the event, and proceeds from the concert will be donated to The First Tee Sandhills.
Gill is an avid golfer and has been a big supporter of The First Tee, especially in Nashville. He's regarded as a humanitarian and has been involved in countless charitable causes. The Academy of Country Music recognized him as its 2006 Humanitarian of the Year.
"We just can't think of anybody better to have come and do this," said Bob Burwell, vice president of The First Tee Sandhills. "We feel like this is going to be a win-win-win thing for the whole community. We want it to be that way.
"We want it to be a great experience for the Vince Gill people. We want it to be a great experience for the community and for The First Tee."
The First Tee Sandhills works with hundreds of kids, ages 5 to 18, every year. Its mission is to teach character development and provide educational opportunities through the game of golf. Click here for more about The First Tee Sandhills.
Burwell said the Sandhills chapter - founded in 2003 - is one of more than 200 worldwide. The international organization has been around since 1997 and is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation.
"It's a wonderful program," Burwell said. "You can talk to any of our parents. We almost never lose kids. They start with The First Tee. They come back, they come back, they come back."
Burwell said it has taken about a year to put the concert together. Dick Pitassy, of Sandhills Entertainment Group, the firm assisting The First Tee with staging the event, said a lot is involved in putting on something of this magnitude.
He said Gill has a 10-member band and his own production crew, which travel in three large buses. The group also has transport trucks that carry the stage and other equipment.
"Vince Gill is donating his performance ... we have to pay for everything else," Pitassy said, referring to the travel expenses for the group and equipment.
He said the concert has received "tremendous support" from Pinehurst Resort, the village, TicketMaster, The Pilot and Classic Party Rentals, which is providing chairs and a tent for the event.
Burwell hopes the concert will attract a crowd of 6,000 people. General admission tickets will be $25, and VIP tickets will range between $75 and $125. Tickets for children 12 and under will be half price. Tickets should be on sale through TicketMaster around mid-April.
Several sponsorship levels are available, costing from $250 to $4,000.
Two "major event sponsorships" can be purchased for $7,500 or more, each. The major event sponsors will receive special tickets, benefits, media publicity and prominent co-sponsorship recognition on event signage and promotional materials.
On the concert day, Gill is expected to play golf on one of the local courses.
The gates will open at 5 p.m., and the concert will start at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday May 29 and will last two hours.
Burwell hopes the community can build on this event, and to make such concerts a regular occurrence at the Arboretum.
Pinehurst Mayor Ginsey Fallon could barely contain her excitement about the concert Friday.
"It's marvelous," she said. "I think it will bring a lot of people into the village that have never been here before and give them the opportunity to see what a beautiful village we have. [The Arboretum] is a beautiful spot."
Fallon said using the Arboretum as the location for such events was a dream of her predecessor, the late George Lane. She added that the concert would be a great opportunity to bring village residents together as well.
Burwell said, "Everything we can think of to make it special, we're trying to think of it and do."
Contact John Krahnert III at (910) 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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